Buena Vista Social Club

Buena Vista Social Club

Director: Wim Wenders Cast: Ry Cooder, Compay Segundo, Rubén González

Blu-ray (Special Edition / Wide Screen)

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Wim Wenders' documentary Buena Vista Social Club is about the adventures of Ry Cooder in Cuba. Cooder, best remembered by film fans for the wailing slide guitar theme of Wenders' Paris, Texas, went to Cuba in 1996 to meet with some legendary 'soneros' musicians of the '30s, '40s and '50s. The result was the album Buena Vista Social Club, recorded with such colorful characters as the 90-year-old singer/guitarist Compay Segundo, guitarist Eliades Ochoa, baritone Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo, "the Cuban Edith Piaf." The album won a Grammy, and in this refreshing documentary, Wim Wenders shows these exceptional musicians in their hometown, following them into their usual hang-outs -- the cafes, clubs and even living rooms -- as well as to concerts in Amsterdam and New York's Carnegie Hall, capturing their incredible vitality. "In Cuba, music flows like a river," according to Ry Cooder, who adds "Music is like a treasure hunt; you dig and dig and sometimes find something." Pursuing this metaphor, Wenders wanted to make a film that would "just float on this river ... not interfering with it, just drifting along." The result is a film full of vitality and positive energy, which is also an absolute delight to musical ears.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/18/2017
UPC: 0715515195713
Original Release: 1999
Rating: G
Source: Criterion
Region Code: A
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Sound: [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time: 1:45:00
Sales rank: 15,944

Special Features

Audio commentary from 1999 featuring director Wim Wenders; New interview with Wenders; Interview from 1998 with musician Compay Segundo on his career and the world of Cuban music; Radio interviews from 2000 featuring musicians Ibrahim Ferrer, Rubén González, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, and others; Additional scenes; Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ry Cooder Actor
Compay Segundo Actor
Rubén González Participant
Ibrahim Ferrer Actor
Eliades Ochoa Actor
Omara Portuondo Actor
Manuel "Guajiro" Mirabal Actor
Orlando Lopez "Cachaito" Actor
Barbarito Torres Actor
Manuel "Puntillita" Licea Actor
Raul Planes Actor
Felix Valoy Actor
Ricahrd Eques Actor
Maceo Rodriguez Actor
Joaquim Cooder Actor
Pio Levya Actor

Technical Credits
Wim Wenders Director
Rosa Bosch Associate Producer
Buena Vista Social Club Score Composer
Ry Cooder Producer
Ulrich Felsberg Executive Producer
Nick Gold Executive Producer
Brian Johnson Editor
Walter Mueller Sound/Sound Designer
Robby Müller Cinematographer
Deepak Nayar Producer
Lisa Rinzler Cinematographer
Joerg Widmer Cinematographer

Customer Reviews

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Buena Vista Social Club 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thorough yet leaves asking for more
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I heard the music of the Buena Vista Social Club, I fell in love with Cuban music all over again. Ibrahim Ferrer, Eliades Ochoa, Compay Segundo, Puntillita, Ruben Gonzalez and the other great musicians brought back to life a culture that had been forgotten for so many years. Ry Cooder was instrumental in reviving this lost music, and along with Wem Wenders tried to capture the images of a hidden past, in the production of the Buena Vista Social Club. After reading an article by John Child and David Barton, when they interviewed Alfredo Valdes, Jr. ''Son of Buena Vista'', I was confused as to the disapproval and mixed feelings Mr. Valdes had with the resurgence of the music from Buena Vista, especially the recent Buena Vista musical productions by Ry Cooder. That was until I saw the video production for the first time. Aside from its marginal artistic value, the production was weak and did not contain significant content. At best the production seemed to be an exploitation of a lost Cuban culture. Despite the fact that Ry Cooder and director Wim Wenders have had previous success in other endeavors, this production of the Buena Vista Social Club, obviously exposed the ignorance of these ''outsiders''. They failed to recognize and document on film the true suffering of these people, and why it was that they have been forgotten for so long. Instead of capturing the music and its history on film, Cooder and Wenders captured the images of poverty, isolation, oppression, and exploitation. Does this production have any value? Very little, but buy the music CD's instead and avoid feeling sad and sick to your stomach for what these Outsiders captured on film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was moved by the impact and shear energy of this documentary and would recommend it to anyone who is cuban or non-spanish who has interest in cuban music. It was a sensational experience and a beautiful film to watch. It almost feels as if you were there with them. I loved how the musicians were individually interviewed. You get to hear who they are and how they became musicians. You know something, if my parents hadn't left Cuba in 1969, I would have met these amazing musicians, especially Ruben Gonzalez ''my favorite''. Got to listen to ''Quizas Quizas'' off of ''Chanchullo''. I was five at the time we left Cuba. My dad said to me that Buena Vista is a suburb slightly outside of Havana, Cuba. It's where the best musicians on the island jammed and we didn't live far from there. This film is a keeper. Thanks Ry Cooder for this film!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago